As the title suggests, CBS’ ’48 Hours: The Suzanne Morphew Case: Nothing Is What It Seems’ explores the 2020 disappearance of Suzanne Morphew, which continues to baffle the authorities to this day. After all, what makes this matter so bizarre is that it includes not just spy pens and infidelity but also a plastic needle cap, tranquilizers, and a chipmunk alibi that no one ever saw coming. Now, if you’re curious to know more about Suzanne, her experiences, the different theories within this investigation, and who could likely be responsible, we’ve got the details for you.
What Happened to Suzanne Morphew?
Born and brought up in the beautiful small town of Alexandria in Indiana, Suzanne Morphew was described as bubbly and charming by everyone who knew her. Many even supposed that she had an ideal life with her (almost) high school sweetheart husband, Barry, and their two daughters — Macy and Mallory, but the truth was much more complicated. The former school teacher — who’d let go of her job to raise her children — had relocated with the family to a comfortable home just on the outskirts of Salida, Colorado, in 2018 for a new chapter. However, that ultimately marked the beginning of a terrible end.
On May 10, 2020, although it was Mother’s Day, Barry had left home early to drive to a job site around 150 miles away, whereas his and Suzanne’s girls were out on a camping trip but making their way back. However, the seemingly ordinary day turned upside down when the sisters realized that they’d received no response to the texts they’d sent wishing their mother the holiday. They subsequently got in touch with their father, who asked a neighbor to check on his wife, only to learn that Suzanne was nowhere to be found. Her car, keys, and purse were safely at home, but not her.
Suzanne had gotten into mountain biking since moving states, so the fact that her two-wheeler was missing could’ve led her family to assume that she was just on the trails. Yet, her husband still asked the neighbor to call 911 due to the sheer lack of contact from her side, probably because her cellphone wasn’t at home either. The local deputies recovered Suzanne’s bike from the side of a cliff off the road near their residence within hours, only to find her helmet another mile down the highway. Despite that, they came to believe that she never really went out for a ride that morning.
The officials’ hypothesis that the two scenes were staged stemmed from the fact that not only were they too clean — with no traces of fiber, blood, or struggle — but also that Suzanne’s essential sunglasses and hydration pack were still inside her car back home. That’s when they started to investigate her case as a kidnapping/homicide instead of a mere vanishing without giving up the extensive search for her.
Has Suzanne Morphew’s Body Been Found?
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts from both the FBI and the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, Suzanne Morphew or her body has never been found. She has since been presumed dead, but the inquiries into her case have continued to go on, particularly owing to the possible murder aspect. The suspects for the same, as per reports, have always been her husband, Barry Morphew, or her secret lover of two years. It was pretty early in the probe that the authorities learned about the troubled marriage between Suzanne and Barry.
The couple’s tumultuous relationship, combined with their desire to be closer to their college-attending daughter, was the reason they relocated to Colorado in the first place. The fact that Barry had scratch marks on his arm in the days following the incident and CCTV camera caught him throwing out trash bags at different locations around Broomfield on that fateful morning only incriminated him. After all, it painted the picture that he and Suzanne had a fight that got out of hand on May 9, 2020, and he was allegedly covering up the same.
With that said, though, ten days after Suzanne was reported missing, officials found a spy pen in the walk-in closet of the Morphew’s bedroom, which revealed that Suzanne had been having an affair. She’d gotten this voice-activated device in the hopes of catching her husband going behind her back, but it backfired because it recorded conversations she was having with her boyfriend. It took six months for this mystery lover of Suzanne to be identified as he never came forward because he, too, was married with six children, yet he cooperated with the police and was quickly cleared.
Suzanne’s married lover had a rock-solid alibi with no deeply suspicious activities. In the end, with Suzanne’s text to her husband on May 6 reading that she was “done” with their 25-year marriage and his cell phone pinging all over the house on May 9 (which he tried to justify by asserting that he was chasing and shooting at chipmunks), Barry was zeroed-in on. The discovery of a cap for a tranquilizer dart at the couple’s home did not help his case either, especially since he had already admitted to being an “experienced tranquilizer dart gun shooter.”
The theory thus became that Barry chased, tranquilized, and slew his wife when he returned home from running errands the afternoon before Mother’s Day, only to allegedly catch her sending a bikini photo to her secret boyfriend. According to prosecutors, it has never been a secret that Barry didn’t want a divorce, so he purportedly chose what he believed to be the next best thing during that fateful time.
However, it’s imperative to mention that although Barry was soon charged with first-degree murder concerning Suzzane’s vanishing, it was dismissed without prejudice for lack of evidence on April 19, 2022. This was actually mere days before his trial was set to begin, and the prejudice aspect means he can be indicated on the same count again at a later date without any issues or prerequisites. In other words, with a mystery DNA having also been found in her truck in October 2020, her case remains open to this day.
Read More: Where is Barry Morphew Now?